Social Intrapreneurship

No, I just didn’t spell “entrepreneurship” incorrectly. It is actually a word, the meaning of which I just found out.

I am Shikhar Bhattarai, a Master of International Business (MIB) candidate at The Fletcher School. Recently, I started as a Summer Intern at the Business Call to Action (BCtA) team within UNDP’s Private Sector Division. I am also the Empower “like minded institution” Fellow at this organization. What BCtA does is it works with Multinationals Companies to come-up with creative models that can create financial as well as social impacts. BCtA was formed through a partnership of major donors and international organizations which believe that private sector can provide creative “win-win” solutions by economically empowering both the companies and the poor.

And so, since its inception three year back, big names have already joined the initiative. Some of them include Barclays, Citigroup, Cisco, Coca-Cola, Ericsson, Microsoft, Pepsi, Monster and Vodafone. The entire list can be found at The member companies invest in business models that see the poor as assets in the journey to economic growth and development, rather than as recipient of charity. These initiatives empowers the poor as agricultural producers, micro-distributors, entrepreneurs, consumers etc.

Social Intrapreneurs are these creative entities within an institution who propounds social entrepreneurship within a company. They embark into a previously unchartered territories within a corporate mundane setting aiming to facilitating growth for the company as well as for making developmental impacts. Some of the examples of social intrapreneurship are Barclays’ promoting access to formal financial services in rural African community, Ericsson’s innovative mobile applications for base of the pyramid and Microsoft’s innovation centers in Africa. In essence, its not only selling to the poor, but mostly coming up with ways to empowering poor as productive member of the company’s value chain and working towards providing a sustainable economic opportunity.

For examples of some existing social intrapreneurship models, go to the following link and watch some of the videos:

As an intern, I am constantly exposed to multitude of creative projects and innovative business models that both established and start-up companies come-up with. With continued research on the topic and analysis of these business plans that come through in applications, working at BCtA has been extremely exciting. Going forward, I also plan to feature some of these creative projects, their development and financial impacts and together we can delve deeper into this exciting area.

So, until next post…



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